(RepublicanReport.org) – Many Americans are, by now, familiar with the concept of the extended warranty scam phone call. The phone rings, a robotic voice starts trying to persuade the recipient of the benefits of paying for an extended car warranty, and said recipient typically hangs up in frustration within seconds.
If this situation sounds depressingly familiar to you, there’s some good news. There are steps you can take to prevent these scam callers from reaching your number. Also, there are certain things you should try to be aware of to protect yourself from their scams if they do get through.
How to Recognize a Scam Call
Firstly, it’s important to be able to distinguish fraudulent calls from those actually offering you a service.
One telltale sign is the caller offering only vague details about their service. Another thing to watch out for is a sense of urgency from the caller or an invitation to take action as quickly as possible. Some scammers might even threaten you, claiming the IRS or another federal agency will take action against you if you don’t do as they say.
Scam calls don’t always offer extended car warranties, but, according to analysts, these are the most common types going around at the moment. One Hiya estimate from October 2021 suggested that around 60% of scam calls at the time were based around offers of extended car warranties. This statistic may be related to the recent increase in prices of vehicles; consumers are more interested in extended warranties because they don’t want to have to replace their vehicles.
Can You Stop the Calls From Coming?
If you’re sick of receiving telemarketing calls, you can put your number on the national “Do Not Call” list at donotcall.gov. However, while “Do Not Call” lists can help reduce the number of sales calls you receive, they aren’t useful for actual scams. The good news is that there are apps you can download that will block calls from robots. This can be a great way to minimize phone scams, particularly those pesky robocalls. If the same number keeps calling you, you can also block it manually on your phone.
You can also file a complaint with the Federal Communications Communication (FCC). One of the FCC’s jobs is to investigate these incidents and enforce telemarketing laws, so reaching out could have a positive impact in the long-run — not just for you, but for others as well.
How to Protect Yourself From Getting Scammed
If you’re on the phone with someone purporting to be a service provider and you’re not sure whether the call is genuine, there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
The most important thing to remember is to avoid giving out any sensitive information that could be useful to identity thieves. This includes your Social Security number, bank account number and any credit card details.
Scam callers are also likely to try to push you into making decisions quickly. If you feel pressured by the person on the other end or you can’t get your questions answered, the call may not be genuine. Also, you should hang up immediately if someone tries to threaten you.
Staying safe from scams is more difficult than ever in today’s tech-saturated world, but there are always things you can do to reduce your risk.
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